I always love World Book Day.
This one I loved more than usual.
There’s something joyous about walking to school and spotting kids in different outfits, trying to work out what they’ve come as.
Exceptional costumes need not break the bank and it’s great to see how inventive parents can be to turn their kids into Danny Champion of the World or Pippy Longstocking.
This is usually accompanied in school by a day of activities devoted to reading, sharing stories and promoting the love of books at home.
For much of the day I was invited into my local school to see what was going off – the proceedings started with a simply glorious assembly which saw teams of teachers racing to scoff all the food eaten by the hungry caterpillar, to the delight of cheering kids.
I was also judging a competition that encouraged children to write captions and draw illustrations for a spooky story.
It was all good stuff, inspiring kids to write and keep their love of stories close to their heart.
Days Out Underground is now in the shops and available at the usual online sites such as Amazon.
Publication day is always a strange thing to experience. Writers invest so much time in their book, researching and writing, rewriting and editing, proofreading and revising.
It’s a bit of a cliché to say that a writer’s books are like their children, but I totally understand the sentiment behind such a saying.
I spent a full year travelling around the United Kingdom to visit the best underground attractions for a quirky new book showing the adventurous the subterranean treats our country has to offer, followed by many months of writing and revising.
When the manuscript is sent off, it’s over to the designers, editors and printers to do their stuff in a process that can take the best part of a year.
And when the book arrives at the door, a fully printed version of these ideas I had many months before, there is a rush of different emotions.
I’m obviously delighted to have the finished copy in my hands, but there’s also a slight distance from the product because it was written over 12 months ago. It’s a bit like welcoming an old friend into your house – you know them inside out and can’t wait to show them off to your friends, but it’s going to take a bit of time and a glass of wine before you fully familiarise yourself again.
Another key emotion on publishing day is disbelief.
This day – March 7th 2019 – has been engrained on my mind for the past 12 months, knowing that this would be the date when my first UK-wide travel guide would be released.
Yesterday was March 6th and it wasn’t in the shops. Today is March 7th and it is.
Overnight, this thing that I’ve been working on for two years has suddenly been switched on, it’s available to anybody who wants it.
It’s a weird experience, but one that I’m glad came on World Book Day, a cracking period of time when the whole nation seems to be celebrating the telling of stories and sharing the best of their tales.
Enjoy reading your books and if you happen to order Days Out Underground I hope you have a wonderful time exploring the subterranean history of our nation.